Their Spacious French Country Kitchen Is Magnifique!

Kitchen Photo

Kitchen Photo

Step into our remodeled kitchen, and you might feel as if you're entering a French cafe. The aroma of European pastries often fills the air, and you can't miss the bistro-style awning and "Paris Street" wallpaper border.

For years, I'd dreamed of having a large French country kitchen, similar to one you'd see in an old farmhouse. My daydreaming became reality when my husband, Darcy, and I moved to the beautiful Oregon coast 2 years ago and bought our retirement home—a 1,500-square-foot, ranch-style house.

It needed lots of renovating, especially the cramped, outdated kitchen. We tore down walls and hanging cabinets, and built new walls where needed, creating an open floor design that allows us to view the living room and dining room from the kitchen.

Bakers' Paradise

Because Darcy and I love to bake—he gets requests for his sour cream cinnamon twists, and I love making quiche Lorraine—space was a priority for us.

Granite Countertops

The new countertops, covered in gorgeous granite, offer plenty of room for rolling out pastry dough and cooling cookies from the oven. Family and friends often pull the wrought-iron stools up to the counter while Darcy and I prepare a meal or dessert. Our neighbors, Tosh and Judy, visit us almost daily; we share recipes and remodeling tips. We also love visits from our children, Jason and Janel, who live with their spouses in California.

Further enhancing our baking and cooking experience are the stainless steel appliances, including a built-in range with griddle and oven. We have fun fixing homemade pancakes and bacon on the griddle. Across from it is a second oven and a microwave. Having two ovens is so handy. We can be baking cookies in one and roasting a holiday turkey in the other.

Our side-by-side refrigerator/freezer has a professional look. Darcy built the pantry and the wall frames surrounding the fridge. The glass pantry door is etched with wine bottles and a basket of vegetables. Everyone who sees it loves it.

Darcy and Ruth

Tired of country-blue decor, we wanted a modern, warm color to tie together the kitchen, living room and dining area. So we chose sage green for the walls. They look lovely against the eggshell cabinets and bronze hardware. Pebble glass windows and crown molding give the cabinets a "finished" look.

Darcy laid the rich oak flooring that flows through all three rooms. The bronze, glass-top dining table and matching lattice-back chairs sit on a black area rug with a gold pattern.

There's plenty of light for cooking and eating from the large skylights in the dining room, recessed lights in the kitchen and pendant lighting over the counter.